Tokyo Dome previews, Young Lion challenges, and Suzuki-gun nears its end
The traditional Korakuen hall end to 2022 sees the Road to Tokyo Dome. This year, the high stakes previews of Wrestle Kingdom have an added emotional twist, as Suzuki-Gun rides for the final time over two nights.
Main event: YOH, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Kazuchika Okada vs Suzuki-Gun (DOUKI, Lance Archer & Minoru Suzuki)
The main event of the evening will see Suzuki-Gun clash with the forces of Hontai and CHAOS for the final time in six man action. Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kazuchika Okada’s history with Minoru Suzuki is deep, rich and violent, and Lance Archer has been a memorable opponent for the Ace and the Rainmaker as well. Meanwhile YOH has consistently been kept in check and in torment by the SZKG juniors, and with DOUKI well on his way to being a major junior heavyweight force away from Suzuki-Gun from 2023 onward, this is a fitting penultimate match for the stable.
7th Match: Six or Nine (Master Wato & Ryusuke Taguchi) vs Los Ingobernables De Japon (Hiromu Takahashi & BUSHI) vs Suzuki-Gun (El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru) vs BULLET CLUB (Taiji Ishimori & Gedo)
With Master Wato, Hiromu Takahashi, El Desperado and Taiji Ishimori set to face off in a four way over the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship at Wrestle Kingdom, December 22 will see a four way tag team preview. A rare bout that’s sure to be chaotic, will this tag team experience offer any hints as to January 4’s singles winner, and who will make the loudest statement in Korakuen?
6th Match: Ren Narita & Tomoaki Honma vs Dangerous Tekkers (Zack Sabre Jr. & Taichi)
As Suzuki-Gun disbands after December 23, the future of Zack Sabre Jr. and Taichi as a team must also be in question. Yet what can’t be called into question is Sabre’s drive to win his first official singles championship in New Japan, nor Ren Narita’s determination to rocket himself straight to the top by becoming NJPW World TV Champion on January 4. Get ready for a hard hitting taste of things to come in Korakuen.
5th Match: Shota Umino, Satoshi Kojima & Togi Makabe vs Los Ingobernables De Japon (SANADA, Shingo Takagi & Tetsuya Naito)
January 4 will see an ending of eras in more ways than one, as Keiji Muto wrestles his final match in a NJPW ring, and the Antonio Inoki Memorial Match sees us bid farewell to an iconic figure. Satoshi Kojima and Togi Makabe will represent the older guard battling in the latter, while Shota Umino represents a new breed fighting for prominence in the former. Against ungovernable opposition, who comes out on top?
4th Match: Oskar Leube vs Jeff Cobb
United Empire will be putting Young Lions to the test in a series of singles matches to start the night in Korakuen Hall, with Jeff Cobb facing Oskar Leube at the top of that pile. Leube is the newest member of the Noge Dojo, but bringing with him experience from New Zealand and Germany, as well as a lot of size and strength. When it comes to size and strength though, few can top Jeff Cobb. How will young Leube fare against the Imperial Unit?
3rd Match: Ryohei Oiwa vs Great-O-Khan
Ryohei Oiwa takes on Great-O-Khan one on one. Oiwa is rising in popularity thanks in no small part to his fresh faced good looks, but will they hold up in the clutches of O-Khan’s vicious claw?
2nd Match: Yuto Nakashima vs Aaron Henare
Yuto Nakashima and Aaron Henare is a fascinating match stylistically between two martial arts proponents with street fighting and New Zealand Dojo experience. Henare will be showing his experience advantage tonight though as he takes Yuto to task.
1st Match: Kosei Fujita vs Francesco Akira
Starting out, Kosei Fujita will be taking on one half of the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champions in Francesco Akira. A spirited and high speed affair is sure to get the Korakuen crowd red hot as we get underway!